These ceremonies being performed, the chief, at my request, conducted me to three stagnant pools of fresh water, as he was pleased to call it: And, indeed, in one of these the water was tolerable, and the situation not inconvenient for filling our casks. After viewing the watering-place, we returned to our former station, where I found a baked hog, and some yams, smoking hot, ready to be carried on board for my dinner. I invited Feenou, and his friends, to partake of it; and we embarked for the ship; but none but himself sat down with us at the table. After dinner I conducted them on shore; and, before I returned on board, the chief gave me a fine large turtle, and a quantity of yams. Our supply of provisions was copious; for, in the course of the day, we got, by barter, alongside the ship, about twenty small hogs, beside fruit and roots. I was told, that on my first landing in the morning, a man came off to the ships, and ordered every one of the natives to go on shore. Probably this was done with a view to have the whole body of inhabitants present at the ceremony of my reception; for when that was over, multitudes of them returned again to the ships.
Next morning early, Feenou, and Omai, who scarcely ever quitted the chief, and now slept on shore, came on board. The object of the visit was to require my presence upon the island. After some time, I accompanied them; and, upon landing, was conducted to the same place where I had been seated the day before; and where I saw a large concourse of people already assembled. I guessed that something more than ordinary was in agitation; but could not tell what, nor could Omai inform me.
I had not been long seated, before near a hundred of the natives appeared in sight, and advanced, laden with yams, bread-fruit, plantains, cocoa-nuts, and sugar-canes. They deposited their burdens, in two heaps, or piles, upon our left, being the side they came from. Soon after, arrived a number of others from the right, bearing the same kind of articles, which were collected into two piles upon that side. To these were tied two pigs, and six fowls; and to those upon the left, six pigs, and two turtles. Earoupa seated himself before the several articles upon the left; and another chief before those upon the right; they being, as I judged, the two chiefs who had collected them, by order of Feenou, who seemed to be as implicitly obeyed here, as he had been at Annamooka; and, in consequence of his commanding superiority over the chiefs of Hepaee, had laid this tax upon them for the present occasion.
As soon as this munificent collection of provisions was laid down in order, and disposed to the best advantage, the bearers of it joined the multitude, who formed a large circle round the whole. Presently after, a number of men entered this circle, or area, before us, armed with clubs, made of the green branches of the cocoa-nut tree. These paraded about for a few minutes, and then retired; the one half to one